Friday, February 26, 2010

Joint Statement by Japanese NGOs concerning Human Rights Violation in the Philippines

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov. ph/ opnet@ops.gov. ph

February 26, 2010


Dear Ms. President,

We, the undersigned, have expressed grave concerns over the serious violation of human rights in the Philippines, such as political killings and enforced disappearance rampant during your administration, and have continuously urged you to address this problem. Our Japanese government has also formally expressed “the strong concerns among the Japanese about the human rights situation in the Philippines” to you several times, and has called upon your appropriate measures, especially in the context of the provision in the four (4) principles of ODA implementation of Japan’s ODA Charter, or “full attention should be paid to efforts for promoting …… the situation regarding the protection of basic human rights and freedoms to the recipient country.”

Likewise, domestic and international societies, including the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Philip Alston, have pointed that the significant number of killings, disappearances or tortures have been attributed to the military and the police of your country. In order to improve the human rights situation in the Philippines, they have recommended the necessity of the acknowledgement by the military and the re-evaluation on problematic aspects of counter-insurgency strategy, where legal organizations and civilian activists are labeled as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”

Although your government has announced some measures, such as an action plan, in response to those various domestic and international calls, we are disturbed again that the cases of severe human rights violation by the military and the police have been still reported and seems to be even increasing recently before the coming election in the Philippines. Most recently, the one of those is the illegal detention of 43 health workers holding a health skills training seminar, accused as members of the New People's Army (NPA) in Rizal Province.

Also, we are shocked very much that the voters education on the automated election system held by a women NGO in Bohol province was monitored and was tagged as insurgency by the military last January. Some of the undersigned have worked closely with the NGO, or the Women’s Development Center (WDC) and its Executive Director, who were labeled by the military as part of a structure of the underground communists. It is to be deplored that one of our longtime friends and her organization, which have been addressing the problems caused by the Bohol Irrigation Project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), are currently suffering from the human rights violation by the state agency of the Philippines.

We therefore reiterate our calls to you, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to;
  • Immediately stop using the policy of targeting civilian organizations and individual activists under the counter-insurgency program
  • Immediately release the 43 health workers who are illegally detained at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal;
  • Stop tagging the voters education on the automated election system held by the WDC in Bohol as insurgency;
  • Condemn all human rights violation consistently and at every level of government;
  • Ensure that those responsible for human rights violation, including political killings and enforced disappearance, are brought to justice in accordance with international standards.

Respectfully,

Cebu-Bohol Solidarity Network
Friends of the Earth-Japan

Contact:
Cebu-Bohol Solidarity Network
c/o Chair Person Nishii Kazuhiro
Address:
19-1 Nakamichi Honkanbe, Imaise-cho
Ichinomiya City, AICHI #491-0053, JAPAN
Tel & Fax: +81-586-23-5017
E-mail:nishiikaz@nifty.com


With copy to:
Gen. Avelino Razon, Ret. PNP
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue, Pasig City, Philippines
Voice: +63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax: +63 (2) 638 2216
Email: osec@opapp.gov.ph

Secretary Norberto Gonzales
Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: +63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax: +63(2) 911 6213
Email: osnd@philonline.com

Atty. Agnes Devanadera
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines
Direct Line: +63(2) 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline: +63(2) 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: +63(2) 521-1614
Email: soj@doj.gov.ph

Atty. Leila De Lima
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: +63(2) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: +63(2) 929 0102
Email: chr.delima@yahoo.com

H.E. Domingo L. Siazon, Jr.
Philippine Ambassador to Japan
5-15-5 Roppongi Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-8537, Japan
Tel: +81(3) 5562-1600
Fax: +81(3) 5562-1603

Mr. Makoto KATSURA
Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Philippines
2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines
c/o Embassy of Japan
P.O. BOX 414, Pasay Central Office
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: +63(2) 551-5710
Fax: +63(2) 551-5780

Mr. Shiro SADOSHIMA
Director-General
International Cooperation Bureau
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Kasumigaseki 2-2-1, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81(3)-3580-3311 ext. 3591

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